Dear Readers,

I had a very enjoyable and busy summer traveling from places as different as Paris, Tel-Aviv, Andalucia, Morroco, Gibraltar, the French Atlantic Island of Yeu, and more recently New England and Acadia (from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick…everything was new!). And I was in excellent reading company! I found indeed an author who is obviously just as fascinated with the Atlantic ocean as I am😉10573859_10152180141212385_511054067_o I have to admit I literally ran away from what I could hear and see during my short but enlightening visit to Israel (click here for more).

Since I have friends in both camps and intend to keep them, let me say this straight, and I’m by no means an expert: what happened this summer should be a shame for both Israelis and Hamas Autorities. The climate in both places is so filthy I can’t find words. How could teenagers who were all having a fun trip end up being caught in this ugly feud to the point of losing their young and precious lives to fanatics who believe they are different and who in fact are simply the same imbeciles?

How could grown-up Hamas leaders be so full of hate to launch missiles in such a climate? Couldn’t they be more reasonable… On the day Haaretz had planned a peace conference with NGO leaders from all sides?
How can they do that TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE? Doesn’t it mean something to them to expose women and children to the very legitimate response of the sovereign State of Israel? And couldn’t the latter at least LISTEN to UN delegates who informed them that their premises only sheltered innocent civilians caught in this mortal feud? I agree that what Hamas does is a total disgrace but I can’t manage to see how the settlement policy of fanatic jews unduly protected by an Israeli Government feeding this hatred can be a responsible response to this mess. If they want to stay in that greater Israel, then they should become Palestinian citizens, after all there’s only one God, right?

When I visited my regretted uncle Izhak Didi in his lovely house in the settlements (which he paid almost nothing…), I told him he wasn’t in Israel and should leave at once. He ended up being shot by a fanatic and left me the bitter impression that this nonsense was totally the FAULT of the Israeli Government for encouraging people to settle outside their recognized borders.

I know so many wonderful Israelis and Palestinians that I can safely assure you that they are ALIKE! They eat alike, they have the same bittersweet sense of humour, they have the same approach of life and their main problem is that they have as well a very selective memory!

That’s why I ran away from the mess and simply stopped reading the very knowledgeable postings and editorials of all parties before it drove me insane.

I love our world where one week after Tel-Aviv I could enjoy amazing cosmopolitan Tangiers ….where none of the Jew-hating feeling that resonated in France at the time could be felt. How could young people who live in the suburbs of Paris, Lyon or Marseille, who grew up together in the same building, went to the same schools and played footbal in the same club suddenly feel they had to take side in the middle-eastern conflict, with such little education and such enormous bias? How could my fellow Jews feel so rejected and unprotected to decide to leave to Israel by the thousand (over 4000!) where’s the Arab sense of respect and hospitality, how could a suburb shop keeper or synagogue goer be accountable for the policy of another country? Could this be the hidden agenda of the Israeli government? I received in my mailbox some invitations to join and discuss Allyah, so I don’t believe I’m being paranoid….

All I can say is that Israel isn’t an easy place to live, no matter how beautiful and culturally rich this country is. I believe that we are all cosmopolitan enough to go wherever we feel…but also to live together with people and confront them in a peaceful debate. I know it sounds easy to say in comfortable Switzerland, yet I’ve said this in much less comfortable surroundings too. Yet, I admit, never to uneducated hooligans who find a good excuse wherever they can to express their frustration at being considered second class citizens. Why can’t people just pause and think…may be pray at times together?As an agnostic...I participated to a prayer circle in Thailand to represent my people. I was recitating the Shema.

France is my country, even though I live next door, and I would like to share with you some lines written by wonderful Pierre Assouline in Le Dernier des Camondo (The Last of the Camondos). Assouline is a heir to my beloved Marcel Proust. He wrote some marvelous paragraphs on cosmopolitanism and this is food for thought as not only does it correspond to something I’ve often said and written, but also that no matter how much you love France, sometimes, this country can be ungrateful as no member of this glorious family who gave so much in so little time to France, was totally eradicated by the Nazis without any protection from the French who yet protected so many other Jews….Pauvre France…musée camondo 1

10275456_10152025189952385_98382664116646094_o109: Chap. 3 Des Levantins dans la France de l’Affaire
Ils croyaient s’installer dans la France du Second Empire, ils se sont vite retrouvés dans celle de la IIIème République. Qu’importe, c’était la France. Ils n’allaient tout de même pas cesser de l’aimer au motif qu’elle leur paraissait un peu moins aimable.
Du plus âgé au plus jeune, tous ces Camondo, anciens sujets des Habsbourg, nés à Constantinople, entendaient bien conserver leur nationalité italienne et leur qualité de juif tout en adoptant le mode de vie de la meilleure société parisienne. On ne pouvait être plus cosmopolite dans l’âme., dans le meilleur sens du terme, celui de ces personalités brillantes et polyglottes qui étaient partout à l’aise, sous toutes les latitudes, car elles transportaient leur monde avec elles et n’évoluaient que parmi leurs semblables.
199-200: Camondo étaient fiers de leur blason et armoiries, même s’ils savaient combien c’était dérisoire pour prouver l’ancienneté de leur famille.
Finalement, qu’est-ce qui les distinguait des grands bourgeois fortunés? (…)Un titre, une particule, un mode de vie, la fréquentation d’une société, une haute idée de soi et des siens….et l’impérieuse nécessité, l’irrépressible volonté, l’insondable désir de se différencier de leurs coréligionaires. Comme si, en appartenant à une “grande famille”, ils inventaient une autre manière d’être juifs. Car pour rien au monde ils n’auraient voulu être les égaux de leurs frères. Ce trait de caractère, si typique des juifs de Cour de la vieille Europe centrale, avait en son temps exaspéré un Wilhelm von Humbold. Démocrate, il s’était battu au début du siècle pour l’émancipation des israélite. Humaniste, il voulait le meilleur pour un peuple et non pour une poignée de privilégiés. C’est ce qui lui avait fait dire un jour, avec un sens aigu du paradoxe et de la provocation:
“En fait, je n’aime réellement les Juifs qu’en masse; en détail, j’aime mieux les éviter.”
201: Israélites et aristocrates avaient en commun un esprit de clan sinon de caste, une familiarité avec le passé, l’obsession de la mémoire, le sentiment de la différence dans la superiorité. Tourmentés par le devoir de transmission, ils se sentaient responsables de leurs ancêtres. Ils partageaient le même culte des traditions et un refus de laisser leur identité se diluer.
206: Finalement, ce qui les séparait vraiment les uns des autres, c’était encore la mystique de la race. Chez les nobles, tout vient du père: sang, nom, titre, fortune…; la noblesse utérine (quelle horrible expression!) n’a cours que dans certaines coutumes. Tandis que juifs, on l’est par la mère.

And let me leave you on a flowery note from one of my favourite flowers…picked from a blog dedicated to them….the Cosmos! and my other all time favourite, the poppies!10355434_10152066738682385_1908311975153314250_o

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